Preparing to Fail

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/jalilarf/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jalilarf/

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

How long should an astronaut prepare for a mission to space?
Or how long should an Olympic athlete train to win the gold medal?
What about child birth?  Or a half marathon? The SAT? A job interview?  And, the list goes on….
If you want to accomplish something significant in this life, you have to prepare.
 

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”  – Abe Lincoln

When we started our work in Western New York with The Chapel and the Every Child Network, we took six months to prepare.  You may think that sounds like a long time, but that six months has passed.  A strong foundation is in place,  and children are being cared for by multiple churches in two counties.  Worth the wait? You bet.
 
I have been privileged to be a part of some great ministries.  We’ve been guilty of latching on to a vision and working to achieve the goals quickly without laying the proper foundation for a long-lasting work.  The motivation to get quick results is admirable.  But in the long run, a strong foundation that took some time to build will always outlast those foundations built on a burst of someone’s passion.
 
You can never sacrifice speed for sustainability.
 
Remember in John 6:1-15 where Jesus feeds the five thousand? (Actually, probably more like 10,000+ when you count the women and children).  One of Jesus’ disciples, Phillip, was in a little bit of a panic because he knew that even “eight months wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”  Another disciple, Andrew, pointed out a little boy who had brought five small barley loaves and two small fish with him.  He brought his lunch.
 
What about everyone else there?  Did anybody else prepare?  I don’t know.  But, I do know that Jesus chose to use this boy’s lunch to feed a lot of people that day.  He was prepared for his day.  They even had twelve baskets left over.  Pretty amazing.
 
Does God use those who are prepared?  Yes, He does.
Could He have come up with some other miracle to feed everyone?  Of course.
 
But, Jesus chooses to work through people.  And, on that day, He chose to use the preparation of one little boy (or one little boy’s mother) to miraculously provide food for everyone in attendance.
 
You know where I am going with this by now.
 
How is your church prepared to care for children in foster care and global orphans?
Is it possible that your church may not be seeing the great hand of God in this area because your church has not expectantly prepared?
 
I imagine that little boy had a very expectant heart the morning he set out from his house, lunch in hand.  He didn’t have any idea that he would be at the center of a great miracle that day.  But, God seems to use his example to encourage us, the Church, to prepare.  To walk humbly.  And, to be expectant.
 

“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.” – Abe Lincoln

Don’t miss your chance to prepare.
If your church is failing to prepare, your church is preparing to fail.
 
We stand ready to help prepare your church to create a long term orphan care strategy: https://patchourplanet.org/contact/
 
Steve Gillis
Founder | Exec. Director
www.patchourplanet.org 
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